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HARD CURRENCY: Historically money that is in the form of precious metals, especially gold. In modern times, any national currency that is expected to retain its value (and even appreciate in value), and is readily acceptable for most international transactions. The U.S. dollar, German marc, and Swiss franc tend to be near the top of the list of hard currencies (also termed hard money).

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STAGES OF PRODUCTION: The three stages of production characterized by the slope and shape of the total product curve. The first stage is characterized by an increasingly positive slope. The second stage by a decreasingly positive slope. And the third stage by a negative slope. Because the slope of the total product curve IS marginal product, these three stages are also seen with marginal product. In Stage I, marginal product is positive and increasing. In Stage II, marginal product is positive, but decreasing. And in Stage III, marginal product is negative.

     See also | short-run production | total product | marginal product | average product | law of diminishing marginal returns | increasing marginal returns | decreasing marginal returns |


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ELASTICITY

The relative response of one variable to changes in another variable. Elasticity is commonly used in the study of market exchanges to identify the relative response of quantity (demanded and supplied) to changes in price. The phrase "relative response" is best interpreted as the percentage change, such as, the percentage change in quantity measured against the percentage change in price. The most common notions of elasticity are the price elasticity of demand and the price elasticity of supply. Other notable economic elasticities are the income elasticity of demand and the cross elasticity of demand.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time searching for a specialty store seeking to buy either a coffee cup commemorating the 2000 Olympics or a birthday gift for your grandmother. Be on the lookout for cardboard boxes.
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In the Middle Ages, pepper was used for bartering, and it was often more valuable and stable in value than gold.
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